7 Tips To Improve HOA Board Communication With Homeowners

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One of the pillars of a successful association is effective HOA board communication. Board members must keep in consistent contact with homeowners, informing them of important news and updates. Not all associations know how to properly communicate with homeowners, though.

What Is the Importance of HOA Board Communication?

Communication is the foundation of smooth operations and workflow. Board members must stay in touch with each other as well as the homeowners to remain functional as an organization. Without communication, homeowners would remain in the dark about important news and events.

In addition to this, state laws and governing documents may require HOAs to maintain communication with members. Unfortunately, effective homeowners association communication is not always easy to accomplish, especially without the right resources and knowledge.

Top 7 HOA Communications Best Practices

Homeowners associations can improve communication with homeowners by implementing the following tips.

1. Establish an HOA Communication Policy

First, if the association does not already have a communication policy, an HOA board should establish one. This policy should dictate what communication methods the HOA will use and the procedures for using them. It should also pinpoint the person responsible for preparing, distributing, and monitoring communication efforts.

2. Use the Right Communication Tools

There are plenty of communication tools that an HOA may use (discussed further below). Using more than one tool is best, as relying on a single method could quickly backfire. If that sole method fails, an HOA board would have no other way to reach out to homeowners.

When choosing communication tools, an HOA should consider its demographic. For instance, a population that skews older may have a harder time going digital than a younger one. It is important to adjust the communication methods according to the demographics of the association. If an elderly community does decide to go digital, the board should consider conducting a seminar teaching residents how to use the tools.

3. Adhere to Notification Requirements

State laws and their governing documents bind homeowners associations. More often than not, these two documents have requirements for delivering written notices. The board must comply if a law or rule requires an HOA to deliver a meeting notice by direct mail. Otherwise, it risks potential liability.

4. Update Contact Lists Regularly

An updated contact list is always necessary to send communications online or offline. All email addresses, physical addresses, and phone numbers should remain up-to-date. This way, communication efforts reach the right people on time.

5. Avoid Spamming

While sending a string of emails or messages may feel tempting, many homeowners will inevitably be put off by this. An HOA board should avoid spamming homeowners with multiple messages. 

Instead, the board should consolidate all important communication in a single email or message before finalizing and sending it. This way, owners won’t be constantly bombarded with notifications, which may push them to block the HOA as a contact.

6. Keep It Simple

There is no need to use flowery language or long-winded sentences to get the point across. It is best to keep things simple and concise when communicating with homeowners. Whether communicating online or offline, board members should remember to use a neat format and an easy-to-read font.

7. Be Open to Feedback

Part of running an HOA is being open to feedback from homeowners. Otherwise, how else would board members know they’re doing well?

Communication is a two-way street. Therefore, an HOA board should allow a channel for concerns or complaints. Homeowners can submit a complaint form in person, through the resident portal, send an email, or even complain over the phone.

Of course, fielding complaints can quickly become tiring. To combat this, board members can hire an HOA management company with homeowner support and 24/7 emergency services.

The Best HOA Communication Tools

There are plenty of communication tools available. State laws and an HOA’s governing documents may dictate which one/s an HOA must use. Sometimes, the HOA board may pick the tool based on its judgment.

Here are the best HOA communication tools today.

1. HOA Newsletter

Newsletters contain important announcements, news, and updates. However, they also contain fun photos and informative articles. In the past, HOAs would print and distribute physical copies of their newsletters. Nowadays, HOAs can choose to send e-newsletters. There are even websites that offer templates for easy preparation.

2. HOA Email Communication

Many associations use email to communicate with homeowners. However, whether or not this method can be used to send official notices depends on state laws and the governing documents.

3. Text Messaging or SMS

Some associations use text messaging as a way to communicate short yet urgent announcements. They are great for emergencies, as statistics show that 60% of people read texts within the first 5 minutes of receiving them.

4. Traditional Mail

Many homeowners associations communicate through traditional or direct mail. In Texas, one of the ways an HOA can notify members of an upcoming meeting is by mailing a written notice 10 to 60 days in advance. 

5. HOA Website or Owner Portal

A community website can be very useful when it comes to disseminating information. Homeowners can use the website or resident portal to access news, updates, and announcements. They can also secure copies of vital documents, such as CC&Rs and bylaws, online.

6. Social Media

An HOA can also use social media to connect with members. Facebook is the preferred choice for a platform for most communities. 

Of course, social media does have its disadvantages. Homeowners may use the medium to spam the HOA or neighbors with unhelpful complaints. Online groups or pages can quickly descend into chaos without a proper moderator. Therefore, if an HOA wishes to use social media for communication, it is essential to establish a social media policy.

7. Other Print Media

Homeowners associations may also wish to distribute information through flyers, posters, and other print media. If the community has a bulletin board, the HOA can post news, events, and announcements there.

A Connected Community

Improving HOA board communication can come as a challenge. However, by utilizing these tips and taking advantage of the various tools available, an HOA can quickly turn poor communication into effective communication.

88 Doors can streamline communications for your HOA community. Contact us online or call us at (512) 348-8821 for a quotation!